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Kidney Transplant Program

At UCI Health, our transplant specialists have been providing kidney transplants to patients with end-stage renal disease for more than 40 years.

A kidney transplant recipient enjoys freedom from dialysis, increased energy and stamina, more varied diet and fluid intake, improved ability to travel and some patients report improved clarity of thought.

We offer comprehensive kidney transplant services, including living kidney donations. This means that a patient needing a transplant can receive a kidney directly from a relative or matching donor, rather than wait for an organ to become available.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call us at 714-456-8441. 

Who is a kidney transplant candidate?

Candidates for kidney transplantation include:

  • Patients on peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis
  • Patients with deteriorating kidney function, but not yet on dialysis

Evaluation for kidney transplant

Candidates for a kidney transplant receive a pre-appointment phone consultation with a nurse, followed by an accelerated new-patient evaluation. After the initial phone screening, an appointment is arranged to further assess the patient's candidacy for kidney transplant.

The assessment includes a physical examination, X-rays, an electrocardiogram, imaging scans and lab tests. On this day, transplant patients and their families also receive in-depth education on what to expect before, during and after surgery.

Members of our kidney transplant team members also provide continuous pre-transplant monitoring of each candidate. Patients in the program have round-the-clock access to a clinical transplant coordinator for assistance with any questions or concerns.

Living kidney donation

A living kidney donation means that a patient needing a transplant can receive a kidney directly from a relative or friend, rather than wait — often for several years — or an organ to become available from a deceased donor.

Donors no longer need to undergo open surgery because a kidney can be removed with a minimally invasive technique called laparoscopic nephrectomy. This procedure, which involves tiny incisions, means fewer days in the hospital and a faster recovery. 

Live-donor kidney transplants usually result in better outcomes for recipients because the organs are typically healthier than those from deceased donors. Especially if the donor is a relative, recipients usually need fewer immunosuppressive drugs to guard against organ rejection.

Our transplant team conducts evaluations of potential living donors, including parents, adult children, siblings, spouses, close friends or other relatives. We review the entire donation process with all donor candidates so that they are able to make an informed decision.

Donor candidates then undergo numerous tests and an evaluation of their general health as well as their compatibility with the kidney recipient. Only healthy donors are selected.

Learn more about our living donor program ›

Multidisciplinary approach

Our multidisciplinary transplant team is led by highly skilled surgeons and nephrologists who specialize in treating diseases of the kidney.

Our team also includes:

  • Nurse coordinators
  • Social workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Dietitians
  • Financial coordinators
  • Data analysts
  • Administrative assistants

All are dedicated and experienced professionals who provide personalized and compassionate care to our transplant patients.

In addition, because we work Orange County's only academic medical center, we have access to a wide range of specialists so that we can optimize your care and ensure a successful transplant. This also means that we are able to apply the latest research and technologies to your care.

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